One of the more interesting questions facing Brewers manager Ron Roenicke this spring is who to bat in the leadoff position in 2013. In second baseman Rickie Weeks and right fielder Nori Aoki, the Brewers have two different, but effective possibilities to consider.
"Rick and Nori are the two options and there are pros and cons to both of them. I don't want to say right now that one is definitely a better way to go than another. But it's going to be one of those two guys," said Roenicke.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy also recognizes unique talents of both players.
"Rickie and Nori are different players, but they are both very talented. Both have good speed and play smart. They are both going to be key cogs for us. Rickie can hit anywhere. He can get a base hit, steal a base and hit some homeruns. You can hit him anywhere in the lineup and he'll contribute. Nori is a special player too. He did a lot of different things well for us last year."
Weeks, a 2011 All-Star, has been a fixture at the top of the Brewers batting order since 2006, leading off nearly three times more games for the team than any other player. But with the second baseman's slow start in 2012, the former Japanese batting champion was moved into the top slot and thrived, notching a .288 batting average with a .355 OPB in his first Major League season.
Both players are open to leading off and seem to enjoy the position.
"I like batting leadoff because you are in front of the big bats," said Aoki through an interpreter. "You've got the three, four and five guys behind you and with our lineup there is a good chance, if you get on, that you are going to come around and score. And that's what I like to do."
Aoki, who finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2012, started 93 games in the leadoff spot last season. He was also a threat on the base paths, stealing 30 bags while only being caught eight times.
Roenicke leaning towards Aoki for leadoff spot
Fox Sports Wisconsin | Feb 18